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The Space Technology 3 (ST3) mission will be launched into deep space in 2005 to test new technologies and a new mission concept in deep space. The mission will fly two spacecraft in formation, using laser beams to keep the spacecraft aligned in precise positions relative to each other. The mission will also test a sophisticated and promising technique in space called interferometry. This technique will combine the imaging ability of two telescopes in the physically separated spacecraft to produce a powerful telescope system that can image distant stars. ST3 is part of NASA's Origins Program, which operates missions that seek answers to fundamental questions about the origins of life and the universe. The technology and mission concept ST3 tests in space will be used by future Origins Program missions that will use several spacecraft flying in formation to look for Earth-like planets that may be orbiting distant stars. The two ST3 spacecraft will be built by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado. JPL manages ST3 for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. #####
JPL Archives
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Washington, D.C.